Saturday, 20 December 2014

Farewell Bear Facts - Wokingham


More on Wokingham here.

- Arthur's irresistible helpfulness meeting Wendy's immoveable resistance to being helped is one of my favourite Arthur scenes. Partly because Arthur affects and furthers the plot for reasons other than clottishness. Partly because I love the friendliness that develops between them once Wendy realises she's met her match. And partly… because I got to perform a two-handed scene with Prunella Scales!

- There is a good reason why the pronunciation of Caitlin's name changes between Limerick and Wokingham. It's not the after-the-fact one I came up with in the blog post above, although that one will do in the characters' world.  Unfortunately for you… I cannot tell you what the real reason is. I know, maddening of me. But true.

- Nice, amongst all the character development and series arc-i-ness going on these days, to have a nice old-fashioned C.P. subplot about trying to win a silly game. And nice that it's Douglas and Carolyn doing it for a change, rather than Douglas and Martin.

Deleted scene. This is an interesting one, because rather than being cut for reasons as time, as usual, I requested Producer David to cut it, because I felt it was a mistake on my part. Here it is:


CAROLYN                   Oh, not at all. I know what it’s like… well, you’ve met Ruth. She still makes me feel like a five year old.
ARTHUR                     I’m glad I don’t have an older brother. Although, also, now I think about it, an older brother would have been great.
MARTIN                       Mm. Although… actually, as it happens… Simon’s my younger brother.
DOUGLAS                  What?
CAROLYN                   He’s not, is he?
MARTIN                       Only by a year! And he’s always acted like he’s older! And he’s so much bigger than me! And he’s got that moustache!


So, that works perfectly well as a sitcommy joke; and it's certainly true that there are siblings where the younger acts as if they were the older and/or vice-versa. But, ultimately, in this case, I didn't and don't think it was truthful. Simon's behaviour - which, as I've said before, I was keen to make irritating but not horrible - is so much influenced, in my mind, by the fact that he's an older brother who can't recognise that he and his siblings are all equal adults now; and so treats Martin as if he was still a kid, that to remove the root of that just for the sake of a capper at the end of the episode felt cheap. So, to be clear, the order of the Crieff siblings is: Simon, Martin, Caitlin. (Martin is such a middle child…)

30 comments:

Warren Terra said...

At England's hour of greatest need ... a placeholer will arise!

And then, later, Arthur, Steward Of The Aeroplane will replace it!

Anonymous said...

The prophecy is fulfilled! All is well.

Christen said...

Busy indeed! (Also if my information is correct did you have gold braid in your pocket at the 2:30 show? I didn't go in the end :( I wish I did though)

Bianca said...

Well... That means I can get to bed before 1 AM today! Yay!!!

Quick question though: what was Arthur doing not being on the flight? Was there something wrong with Snoopadoop? Because he wouldn't miss a flight without good reason, right?

Brynhild Hovden said...

John, why is Arthur not flying in this episode? We were wondering why Carolyn is stewardessing while he's staying in Fitton. (Before taking care of Mrs Skip, I mean.)

Jessica Marie said...

Thy majesty is as immense as the satisfaction of our anticipation!
Finnemore our brilliant scribe,
Go forth and rest and when you're back
we'll still he here, happy, content and ne're a pest!

Sorry, the poetic gene in me is dormant ;)

Anonymous said...

I second Bianca's question!! Arthur would need a really great reason not to be on a flight and I've been curious ever since.

gaelic lupin said...

A lot, a lot, a lot of hail to thee, oh mighty placeholder! And to the informative majesty of all that shall cometh after thee!

Kelsey said...

Top marks for that placeholder!

I want to go ahead and say something: when I read the previous blog on Wokingham, I was honestly surprised you didn't base Mrs. Crieff on, well, your mother, or at least on someone you know. Because my mother does the exact same thing! And to me it's a very motherish thing to do, because I imagine that as a mother you're so used to looking after other people that feels odd to be looked after, and you're instincts are telling you to continue looking after the people looking after you by *keeping* them from looking after you. It's very thoughtful, but... maddening.

Kelsey said...

Also, I'm curious about the birth order of the Crieff children. Maybe I missed it, but I don't think it was made entirely clear. Is Martin the youngest? He seems like a youngest child, from the way his siblings treat him!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! How much time did it take to write the monosyllabic bits? Is it generally difficult to fit into that constraint, or did the dialogue seem to flow as you were writing it? Thank you!

Philippa Sidle said...

I imagine that Arthur wasn't flying for plot reasons. So that he could take the phone call about Mrs Crieff.

Lexi said...

Philippa, you shock me. JF wouldn't make a character do something out of character for plot reasons!

YuppieScum said...

Bianca, Brinhild, etc...

I expect that MJN had been flying Mr. Alyakhin somewhere yachty, hence Carolyn stewardessing and the absence of Arthur...

Anonymous said...

Cabin Pressure isn't ending because Douglas will do something clever and sort it all out... right? *continues to live in hope and extreme denial*

Lothiriel said...

Your placeholder are always brilliant, we all look forward to each and every one of them.

Brandy said...

I believe I read after Wokingham came out that in one of the cut bits that was taped but didn't make air that Simon is youngest and people just assume he's older the way people assume Douglas is captain.

I have to say this run of episodes is a little Martin centric for my take. I don't hate Martin, but he's probably my least favourite and dating a princess, putting his brother in his place and getting a job for pay all in the course of a four episode run? Well, that is giving the rest of the characters not much of an arch for the final full season...

Although Caroline is my favourite and it is a really good run for her character as well. She's so greatly devilishly uncomfortable with the whole Herc thing it is delightful.

But seriously? This series? Arthur and Douglas (second and third favourites) really get the short shrift here.

Rach Cherryade said...

Brandy, thank you, you have articulated exactly why I don't listen back to this episode and 'Vaduz' as often as other episodes, don't get me wrong, they're brilliant of course, it's just that, although I love Martin, he's probably the character I'm least interested in and, although it's nice for him to get a bit of character development, I think I would rather have seen the same thing done for one or two of the other characters. However, this is just a matter of personal preference and absolutely no reflection on the uniformly sky-high quality of each and every CP episode, especially as I recognise that Martin's evolution is necessary to drive the events that lead to the cliff-hanger in 'Yverdon' and, seemingly, to the no doubt thrilling denouement of 'Zurich'!

However, though it may not be my favourite CP episode, it is, of course, jam-packed with wonderful moments, particularly Arthur's helpfulness and Carolyn and Douglas' word game. It also proves what an absolute darling Arthur is and what a genius Carolyn is, proving that she is definitely not just a 'little old lady' and that, purloined whiskey aside, I doubt Douglas would beat Carolyn in a battle of wits!

However, the show was definitely stolen by the glittering guest stars, Prunella Scales and Justin Edwards. For anyone wishing to check out Prunella Scales' extremely impressive body of radio work may I recommend the hysterically funny, but vitriolic, 'Ladies of Letters' and, for anyone in a mood for something more gentle, Simon Brett's delightful sitcoms 'Smelling of Roses' and 'After Henry'. As for Justin Edwards, I don't really know where to start with his extensive radio career, just to say that anyone who hasn't heard the absolutely beautiful 'In and Out of the Kitchen' in which he stars with Miles Jupp, yet should remedy this immediately! His wonderful sketch show 'The Consultant's is also more than worth investigating!

Keith Irwin said...

I wanted to record the placeholder for posterity (mostly because it made me giggle). I also did the same thing in the previous post since it's a callback. Anyway, here it is:

Lo! Be not afeared, for I am the place-holder that was foretold in prophesy. Gaze upon my uninformative majesty.

Anonymous said...

Wokingham is a dear! I particularly like Martin's mum and her interaction with everybody.

I also need to point out, apparently, that strictly speaking Douglas lost the words-of-one-sound game fairly early on already - by saying "Good morning, Martin". Since Carolyn didn't claim victory at that point, though, I expect that neither player counted this utterance, probably on the grounds that Douglas was not aware of Carolyn's presence when he said it.

Oh, and we had great fun on Twitter back then re-naming famous novels in words of one syllable.

Dylan Thompson said...

Re. the people saying S4 is quite Martin-centric (with substantial Carolyn stuff too) -- it's just that those two characters have the most to gain (or lose) before the end of the series; Carolyn with Herc (and the airline), and Martin with Theresa (and his job). Douglas and Arthur, although they are good characters are kind of at a "they'll stay roughly where they are" point. In that they'll make it through the series, but I would think that Arthur won't have a huge "I'm growing up, moving out and gonna have a family" moment; and Douglas would just carry on being a pilot (co-pilot, captain; irrelevant). So, while I would agree that the run of Series 4 as a whole builds up Martin (and to a lesser extent, Carolyn), it is because Arthur would have no desire to change and Douglas is largely incapable of it (can't teach an old dog new tricks, etc.)

Philippa Sidle said...

Totally agree with that analysis of the focus of S4. Martin and Carolyn are the two characters in motion, on the precipice of something. Douglas should get a resolution, something positive for the future, but come on - Douglas is always going to do something clever and be all right, despite his sexy moments of vulnerability. And Arthur would be deliriously happy selling ice cream, so it doesn't much matter what fate befalls him.

JennaM said...

Can I posit a theory, John? Can we not know why Caitlin's name pronunciation changes because it somehow figures into the plot of Zurich?
Or maybe you just can't tell us for no reason at all, sad.

Lothiriel said...

Thank you for sharing the order of the Crieff siblings! I completely agree with your decision to cut off that scene; Simon definitely sounds like Martin's older brother, and it wouldn't have worked the other way round.

Oh, and since other people mentioned that Martin is their least favourite character, I just want to let you know that he's actually my favourite. As much as I love Douglas' beautiful voice and sarcarstic remarks, Carolyn's alpha dog bark, and Arthur's general Arthurness - well, I just happen to have a soft spot for poor little Martin, no matter how prissy he can be at times.
(Hence why I was particularly happy when Douglas and Carolyn helped him put Simon to rights.)

Anonymous said...

My sister is ttwo years younger than me, and she's behaved like a less mean version of Simon since I was 13. So it is a kind of relationship that does happen, but I also really like the idea that Martin is a middle child.

Kelsey said...

Hurray! Thank you so much for the order of the Crieff children!

Moony said...

As much as I love Martin for being the poster boy for all us socially awkward people, this episode always makes me really want to see more backstory for the rest of the characters.

ckwebgrrl said...

Love this episode! The only thing that bothers me is when did Douglas say "accident"? Is that cut from when Martin learns his mom is in hospital?

DOUGLAS: I don’t think so. Only the Words of One Syllable one.
CAROLYN: Oh yes! You were terrible at that.
DOUGLAS (indignantly): I was not!
CAROLYN: You were. You said “accident”.
DOUGLAS: Oh, come on. That wasn’t part of the game!

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